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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 4, 2014

Milford Man Admits Theft Of $292k In Ssa Benefits Deposited Into Deceased Mother’s Bank Account


Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that WILLIAM E. CHASE, 69, of Milford, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty yesterday in Bridgeport federal court to one count of theft of public funds.

According to court documents and statements made in court, CHASE’s mother, a Social Security benefits recipient, died in November 1988.  At the time of his mother’s death, CHASE was a co-signor on the checking account into which his mother’s monthly Social Security benefits were deposited.  Despite the fact that CHASE was identified as the informant on his mother’s death certificate in 1988, he failed to notify the Social Security Administration of her death or take any steps to stop the monthly benefit payments.  From the time of his mother’s death until May 2014, $307,396 in Social Security benefits were direct deposited into the bank account controlled by CHASE.  CHASE utilized more than $292,000 of the deposited benefits for his personal use and enjoyment.

In May 2014, the bank returned the remaining balance of the checking account, approximately $14,761, to the Social Security Administration.

CHASE is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill on February 25, 2015, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a fine of up to approximately $600,000, and mandatory restitution.

This matter is being investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General – Office of Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Rombeau and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anastasia Enos King.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

Component(s): 
Updated March 18, 2015